Why the Snowy Plover?
The Pacific coast population of Western Snowy Plovers has been in decline for several decades due to loss of habitat and disturbances from development, recreation, and other human pressures. In Oregon, the population hit a low of about 50 individuals in the early 1990s. Subsequently this species was listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act in 1993.
Due to targeted recovery efforts in Oregon, mostly focused on the south and central coast, the bird has bounced back to a few hundred individuals although still a small, vulnerable population. Snowy Plovers are still largely absent at most traditional north coast nesting sites.
Getting the community involved in monitoring Plovers on the north coast will help Oregon Parks and Portland Audubon track where Plovers are and how they are doing as other management occurs (e.g. habitat restoration) and offers an opportunity to engage the public to help protect this small bird.